(The Center Square) – A pair of New York cities are among the places nationwide with the most people in financial distress because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new analysis from WalletHub ranked New York City No. 12, while it placed Buffalo at No. 81.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to financial struggles, and people are finding it challenging to meet their current financial obligations, WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said. This can lead to drops in credit score, late bill payments, additional debt or even bankruptcy filings.
“New York residents showed a high interest in searching for loans and debt, and almost 43% of them have accounts in distress,” Gonzalez said in an email. “However, a post-COVID recovery could be smoother in larger cities where there is more purchase power, and where more people have continued work from their homes. It all depends on how soon this recovery will begin.”
To assemble its list, WalletHub examined data across nine metrics for the 100 largest cities “without data limitations.” As part of their review, they looked at the change in the number of bankruptcy filings, accounts in distress and credit scores.
In September, New York City residents had an average credit score of 727, up 1.8% from January. Meanwhile, Buffalo residents had an average credit score of 661, up more than 3.4% from January.
Between June 30, 2019, and June 30, 2020, the number of bankruptcy filings for New York City residents decreased by 19%. In Buffalo, bankruptcy filings fell by nearly 18.3% during the same period.
Nationally, Las Vegas topped the list, followed by Chicago and Houston. San Antonio, Texas, and Dallas rounded out the top five, while Anchorage, Alaska; Madison, Wisconsin; and Jersey City, New Jersey, rounded out the bottom three cities.
“Residents from the top cities have low average credit scores,” Gonzalez said. “They also registered a larger search interest for things like debt and loans.”
A pair of cities in neighboring New Jersey – Newark at No. 96 and Jersey City at No. 98 – landed on the list, as did Pennsylvania’s two leading cities – Philadelphia at No. 19 and Pittsburgh at No. 84. Boston also ranked No. 87.
The WalletHub analysis did not include Lexington, Kentucky; St. Paul, Minnesota; or St. Petersburg, Florida.